Feethams


Feethams

Infobox Stadium
stadium_name = Feethams
nickname =


fullname = Feethams
location = Victoria Embankment, Darlington, England
opened = 1883
renovated = | closed =
demolished = 2006
owner = Darlington C.C.
operator = Darlington F.C.
surface = Grass
construction_cost =
architect =
capacity =
8500
tenants =
Darlington F.C.
seating_capacity =
5600
dimensions =
110 × 74 yards

Feethams is a cricket ground and former home of Darlington F.C. for 120 years, from 1883 to 2003, until the club moved into a new stadium on the outskirts of Darlington.

History

Feethams is the home of the Darlington town cricket club, Darlington C.C. From the 1860s, amateur football had been played on the site, but it was only in 1883 that Darlington F.C., a professional side made Feethams their home - and so it was for 120 years.

Unfortunately, times moved on and Feethams and Darlington were in a state of flux. It was decided to build a new stadium and the end of the Feethams era came on 3 May 2003, when the final match was played. A capacity crowd saw Darlington come back from two goals down to draw 2–2 with Leyton Orient.

With the move to the new stadium Feethams fell into disrepair. It was finally demolished in February 2006 shortly after an arson attack. [cite web
url=http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/search/display.var.1322964.0.housing_estate_plan_for_feethams.php
title=Housing estate plan for Feethams
accessdate=2008-01-05
date=12 April 2007
publisher=The Northern Echo
]

Layout

The ground itself was a typical lower-league affair with terraces and benches providing the majority of accommodation for the spectators. There were four sections: the West Stand, the all-seated East Stand, Polam Lane (South) End and the Tin Shed home terrace (the Cricket Ground End). The most modern stand, the East Stand was built in 1997 and was the major cause of the club's financial difficulties, culminating in the infamous Reynolds era.

Quirks

Feethams was unusual in that after entering the turnstiles, through the famous Twin Towers (not related to those at Wembley), spectators had to walk around the cricket pitch in order to enter the ground - something which seemed to upset many away fans! For many years the layout of Feethams also gave supporters the opportunity to change ends at half time, with home supporters often seen trooping from one end to the other in order to mass behind the goal Darlington were attacking.

Cricket

Feethams has been the venue for many Durham County Cricket Club matches. The ground was home to Durham's first ever home victory in the County Championship, against Somerset in June 1992. That match also saw the ground obtain the distinction of having the largest sightscreen in first-class cricket – the back of the Tin Shed was painted a light blue to help batsmen see the ball more easily.

References

External links

* [http://www.darlington-fc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/HistoryDetail/0,,10339~414167,00.html Fan's history of Feethams from official website]
* [http://www.footballgroundz.co.uk/individualpages/darlington.htm Images from Feethams]
* [http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Grounds/11/447.html Cricket Archive]


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